Usually when parents purchase a high chair, it never crosses their minds to get one that reclines. Most high chairs can only be used from 6 months when babies can sit up by themselves, so a recline feature seems kind of redundant.
However, the recline option is very useful as you can use it for babies younger than 6 months. This can be great for mealtimes, or if you’re working in the kitchen and want a place to rest your baby for a while.
In this article, let’s take a look at why some high chairs recline in more detail and whether you should consider this option when buying one.
Why do some high chairs have a recline feature?
Basically the recline option is there to support babies who can’t sit up by themselves yet. It means you can use the high chair from an earlier age and get more use out of the product.
However, many high chairs don’t have this feature, and they can only be used when your baby has stronger neck muscles to support their head when sitting up.
Pros and cons of having a reclining high chair
- Your baby can use the high chair before 6 months.
- Convenient for meal times, as you can bottle feed your baby whilst having your meal.
- A resting place for your baby – You can leave your baby in the reclined position while getting the meal ready, or doing some other activity in the kitchen. They’ll have a better view of mum or dad.
- Make sure you don’t feed solid food to your baby when they’re in a reclined position, as it can present a choking hazard.
What to consider when buying a reclining high chair?
All of the following aspects also apply to other types of high chair that don’t recline, but nevertheless they are still important to consider:
Easy to clean
This goes without saying. Things are going to get messy with a baby seemingly putting food everywhere except in their mouth! Make sure the tray can be wiped down easily, or better still, you can place it in the dishwasher. For the seats, make sure they are easy to remove and machine washable.
For me, longevity is crucial with a high chair. A reclining option means you can use the high chair when the baby is still quite small, but as they grow and sit up by themselves, you want something which will adapt as they transition to a toddler and a young child. Furthermore, sometimes it’s better to pay a bit more if you can use the product for longer.
First and foremost, you want something which is sturdy, but you don’t want something which is too heavy to move around the table, especially if you plan to fold up the high chair and put it away regularly.
High chairs are designed with a wider base to minimize the risk of a baby toppling over…
…something which happened to my brother when he was a baby many years ago!
Look for a high chair with a 3 or 5 point harness to keep your baby secure and ensure it meets JPMA safety standards.
When you purchase a high chair, you can often see the assembly instructions online. For most models, you shouldn’t have too much trouble, but it might be worth checking the instructions so you can see it won’t take you a whole weekend to put the thing together!
For me, the most frustrating thing with high chairs is the wide base. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve stubbed my toe on our Cosatto high chair! However, it is an important safety feature which can’t be avoided as it ensures your baby won’t topple over.
Check the measurements carefully, particularly of the base and where you plan to place the high chair once it’s assembled. Will it stick out of the table too much, or will it fit quite neatly?
A big high chair might be an issue if you have a small kitchen or a small dining table.
Also, does it fold up? If you think you’ll put the high chair away from time to time, or if you want to take it with you on your travels, then this is a necessity. However, if you plan to just leave it in one place all the time, it’s not a big issue.
Best high chairs that recline
If you’re thinking of buying a high chair which has the recline feature, here are two options that you might want to consider:
Inglesina MyTime Baby High Chair
- 3 recline settings
- Folds up to a smaller size – Only 8 inches wide when folded.
- Removable tray is dishwasher safe
- Removable seat cover – easy to clean
- 5-point safety harness
- 3 year warranty
- Rear wheels make it easier to move around your home
- Longevity. It can only be used until your baby is around 3 years old.
- Expensive, for a high chair that can only be used for the first 3 years
Graco Blossom 6 in 1
- 3 recline settings
- Longevity. 6 in 1 seating system which can be used for many years – it can even be split in 2 if you have a second child!
- 3 and 5 point harness. Meets all the required safety standards.
- Removable seat cover – easy to clean and machine washable.
- Removable tray is dishwasher safe.
- Front locking wheels – keep chair in place, and easy to move around
- You can’t fold it.